How these Texas high school girls' basketball referees made it safely out of this gym is a mystery.
Trailing Argyle High 51-50 in the final 4.8 seconds of double overtime, Celina High's Kynese Davis dribbled to the top of the key, drew a hard foul and stepped to the line for a trio of free throw attempts that could have secured a trip to the state semifinals. Except those free throws never took place.
Instead, after a brief conference, the three referees -- including the one who clearly blew the whistle before the buzzer -- ran off the court, signaling the game had ended in Argyle's favor (h/t Deadspin).
A fellow official with 30 years experience told The Dallas Morning News anonymously, "It was the worst ending to a basketball game I've ever seen in my many years of officiating." And who could disagree?
Celina fans had to be restrained by police, coach Jordan Davis ran after the officials yelling, "Are you kidding me?" and principal Bill Hemby immediately requested an explanation from the tournament representative, according to WFAA-TV. Except that explanation never came, either.
The refs reportedly refused comment and the state's high school athletics association -- the University Interscholastic League -- issued a statement in response to an official protest by Celina school officials.
The call made by the officials at the end of the Argyle vs. Celina girls basketball 3A regional championship final was a judgment call. According to section 1204 (q) of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules, a protest based on a game or contest official’s decision will not be considered.
Once the game is over UIL rules do not allow any type of protest based on an officials judgment or decision.
"To walk into that locker room and not be able to give them an explanation of what happened and some type of closure," Jordan Davis told WFAA-TV, "that's probably one of the hardest things I've ever done."
Naturally, boos rained down over the Class 3A regional championship trophy presentation, and Argyle coach Skip Townsend took offense. "It was really an ugly situation down there when our kids were receiving our trophy," he told The Dallas Morning News. "Celina plays hard, and they're a great team. But we won. I think we should have been respected, but we weren't. We were booed when we got our trophy. I don't understand. We're talking about kids here. But hey, we'll move on."
Throwing proverbial gas on the fire, Townsend told multiple media outlets he believes Kynese Davis traveled before the foul. However, she appears to make a legal jump stop before attempting the 3-pointer. In the video, his Argyle players also seem resigned to defeat following the whistle. But once the refs ran off the court, those Celina fans probably would have booed Mother Teresa during a trophy presentation.